SC notice to poll panel on alleged tampering of EVMs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Election Commission on a PIL seeking investigation by software experts into the allegations of tampering of EVMs in the recently-concluded state assembly elections.

A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul issued notice on a PIL by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma who has contended that on account of “political conspiracy”, the Election Commission “did no effort to collect and arrange VVPAT paper trail machines”.

Contending that though there was “no technical and financial crunch” to arrange the VVPAT machines, the Election Commission did not approach the top court if it was not provided with required funds by the Central and the state governments for their acquisition.

Seeking investigation of EVMS, Sharma said that Election Commission has itself admitted that the EVMs are tamper-proof till their technical, mechanical and software details remain secret and the same can be detected via reverse engineering by any expert.

He said that according to poll panel itself, 71 EVMs were stolen since 2009 and therefore it prima facie appeared/was proved that after reverse engineering, software has already been prepared and used in various elections since after 2010 for favourable election results.

Sharma alleged that the general and state elections held after 2010 and conducted by EVMs have been manipulated and forged for grabbing power with the help of wireless device which is liable to investigated and tested via foreign electronic lab.

Citing the case of a candidate getting zero votes in in Mumbai while he and his family had voted for him, he said this was but one case of fraud which proves that EVMs have been tampered with.

EVMs, which have not been tested till date, cannot be relied upon as tamper-proof, said the PIL, adding that when tampered by criminals for “vote-stealing” by changing votes in favour of a political party for grabbing power, it is a fraud upon basic structure of democratic constitutional systems which is not only liable to be stopped but also investigated and prosecuted to restore popular faith and democratic systems in the country.